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Jackie Wills, from Commandments


(the A to Z of birth)

Here's baby A, swaddled in a bin-liner
dressed in a sweatshirt his mother wore,
bouncy B's exit was recorded on camera,
her head clamped in the beak of a stork.

Clever mite C dropped from an ambulance
in the hospital car-park, name on a tag,
and D's the famous embarrassment
left at Victoria station, in a handbag.

E is the bundle a postman delivered,
F, bought from an Argos catalogue,
this little girl, G, was made in a factory
and H reared by rabbits, found by a dog.

Brothers I and J emerged from a toilet,
and cheeky K arrived with the chips.
L was grown on daddy's allotment —
as you can see from the soil on her lips.

Look at M, the cat brought him home,
N, fat slug, and her gooseberry bush...
O, a surprise, was delivered by aliens
and P raised from clay by Prometheus.

Now, Q, the original test-tube baby...
R, a beauty, is cloned from her mum.
Watch out for S, born on a ski-slope,
and mythical T, the size of a thumb.

An addict, already, U screams for crack,
V is damned by original sin.
W's winched from floods in Mozambique
and X is cut from the guts of her twin.

That's twenty-four, just two more to come.
Out of the waves, swims foam baby, Y.
Arms raised, she leads to the very last one —
Z, a star made of darkness in a distant sky.